The Best Canadian Poetry 2014

The Best Canadian Poetry 2014
edited by Sonnet L’Abbé
ISBN: 9781926639833

I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book the cover, but c’mon, how awesome is this owl with the bokeh circles of light? Even if I weren’t following a reading trail from Open Field I would pick this up. (And as an object, it is wonderful, smooth pages that feel good to touch.)

So what’s in this collection? There is a long poem by Sue Goyette, “On Losing Their Father” with its “exhausted upholstery of ritual” which will be understandable by anyone who has experienced deep loss and the uncertainties that follow in its wake, and isn’t that nearly all of us? There is the plain speaking yet attention grabbing opening of Aisha Sasha John’s “After the porcupine”: “look–I want you to quit being such a try-hard about your whole life / and let me tell you a story”. There’s “How the Starling Came to America: a glosa for P.K. Page” by Medrie Purdham. (I didn’t know what glosa was and now I’m fascinated by the idea…) I was happy to discover that the contributor notes in the back aren’t just short publication lists, but includes commentary written by the poet about the poem.

I suspect I’m still in the early days of my reading not just more poetry, but more Canadian poetry.

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